Actemra

Drug List

Actemra

Drug Name

Actemra (Tocilizumab)

Manufactured By

Genentech, Inc.

Drug Savings


Nationwide Prescription Connection (NPC) is an experienced advocacy service that helps connect patients to manufacturer provided free and discount programs. We can help the uninsured, under insured, those in the Medicare gap also known as the "doughnut hole", or even those needing help with expensive co-pays.  Our web site makes it easy for you to enter the medications you are taking, along with some basic patient information, and then finds the program that is right for you.



Nationwide Prescription Connection (NPC) is an experienced advocacy service that helps connect patients to manufacturer provided free and discount programs. We can help the uninsured, under insured, those in the Medicare gap also known as the "doughnut hole", or even those needing help with expensive co-pays.  Our web site makes it easy for you to enter the medications you are taking, along with some basic patient information, and then finds the program that is right for you.


Treats Disease/Condition

Uses

This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It helps to reduce pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis. Tocilizumab belongs to a class of drugs known as Interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockers. It works by blocking IL-6, a substance made by the body that causes swelling (inflammation).

How To Use

Read the Medication Guide and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using tocilizumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package. Remove one syringe from the refrigerator 30 minutes before using it to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not speed up the warming process in any way; for example, do not use the microwave or place the syringe in warm water. Check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually starting with once every 2 weeks, then increasing to once a week. Recommended injection sites include the abdomen or the front of your thigh. The outer area of the upper arms may also be used if another person is giving you the injection. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Do not inject into moles, scars, bruises, or areas where the skin is tender, red, hard, or broken. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark the days you need to inject the medication on a calendar.

Side Effects

Headache or irritation/redness/pain at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe stomach/abdominal pain. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that can affect the immune system (such as certolizumab, corticosteroids including prednisone). This medication can speed up the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include omeprazole, warfarin, and some cholesterol drugs such as atorvastatin/lovastatin/simvastatin, among others. This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.

In Case of Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

In Case of Missed Dose

For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Store in the original package in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from moisture. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.